One of the most polarizing topics in PR generally and among the measurati in particular is advertising value equivalency, commonly known as AVEs. And yet, notwithstanding the controversy and despite efforts promoting professional standards to the contrary, AVEs remain among the most common form of measurement in PR. Why are they so popular with the masses? And why do so many PR experts hate them? Essentially, advertising equivalency is an easy, accessible way to attribute a dollar value to media coverage by calculating print column inches and TV/radio time factored by the cost of that space and time on an “if-purchased basis.” But does it represent value? And if so, is it the best way to demonstrate PR’s unique contribution to the enterprise? Let’s explore the history of AVEs, detail reasons against their use and shed light on the current state of AVE measurement to provide a balanced view along with a moderate’s advice on a better way forward.
Stories by Mark Weiner
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